Openreach? or a closed shop?

openreachThe news from the early part of this week that OFCOM will force a legal distinction to be created between BT and its broadband infrastructure subsidiary, Openreach and in effect create a seperate company within a company is potentially very exciting for all consumers. As Sharon White, the CEO of OFCOM stated in at least one of her broadcast interviews a few days ago, at present only 2% of us have access to fibre connections at our doorstep, which compares to around 70% of the population of Japan. If the new board of Openreach is going to ensure that the company will fully serve the population of the whole of the UK and use its business to help improve our connections, it must be made up of a diverse group of individuals. Business boards are not usually formed from a representation of the market they serve and indeed all too often seem to be made up of a very limited range of backgrounds and experiences. Openreach must bring straight into its board an understanding of rural communities, both as residents and businesses. Some of the most creative work that has taken place in Sussex has been partnerships between large users of broadband services such as private Schools and businesses, and the surrounding villagers who have ensured that one large investment has benefited a wide range of people. There have been other examples of communities physically laying their own copper and fibre links to prove that we can do more together than we can achieve individually. The new Openreach board must reflect new ways of working, not just move the existing furniture or cables around!


About ianchisnall

I have a passion to see public policy made accessible everyone who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as in policies on health services and strategic planning.
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